Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

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  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Business

In order to be economically viable, vegetable, small fruit, tree fruit and grape growers must be good business people. Growers utilize a variety of markets in New York, including retail farm stands and farmers' markets, wholesale markets and produce auctions. Sales of produce continue to increase and expand in New York as growers create new markets for their product. Recent expansions have included more sales directly into New York City and year-round farmers' markets.

Growers must also pay close attention to the costs of doing business on the farm. As costs of inputs such as fuel and fertilizers continue to increase, growers must find new ways to increase efficiency and help consumers understand the value of their products. By keeping costs under control and selling product at a fair price, growers are able to expand the industry in New York.






Best Management Practices for Agritourism During COVID-19

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 4, 2020

Agritourism is a critical activity and marketing approach for many of our farms, particularly in the fall. It provides customers with a unique outdoor opportunity for farm-based entertainment and food system education, as well the opportunity to purchase fresh produce grown close to home. This document provides management and communication strategies for agritourism activities for the 2020 season to support farms as they navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.


Resources for COVID-Testing Farm Employees

Dan Donahue, Tree Fruit Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 1, 2020

Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 6, 2020

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.


January 2019 Grants for Farmers (powerpoint presentation)

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 30, 2019

The PowerPoint file and link to the YouTube video of the January 2019 Grants for Farmers Webinar


Heroin and Opioid Addiction and Rural America

Maire Ullrich, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 17, 2019

The heroin and opioid epidemic has spread across the country in the last decade, and overdose deaths in rural areas are now surpassing those in urban areas. Access to prevention, treatment, and support services are typically lacking in rural or farming communities, leading to untreated addiction and increased overdose deaths. Additionally, recent reports show that those who work in occupations with higher rates of injury (farming, construction, roofing, etc.) where workers are less able to take time off to heal are more likely to medicate acute or chronic pain symptoms with opioids, leading to increased likelihood of addiction (MADPH, 2018).  


Move from Good to Great in Ag Labor Management This Season

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 17, 2019

As a fruit and vegetable farmer, labor is one of your most important resources but being a manager also exposes you to risks.  To help prepare you for the 2019 growing season, the Eastern NY Commercial Hort Team, in collaboration with the Cornell Small Farms Program and the Cornell Ag Workforce Development Program and the Cornell Farmworker Program, is offering many opportunities for farmers and farm managers to improve their skills and gain important information in labor management this winter.


The Changing CSA - Data from CSAs in the USA and Eastern NY

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 17, 2019

A 2017 report by USDA-AMS and the University of Kentucky is highlighting key trends in CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in the United States and these trends are echoed in data I have collected on CSA farms in Eastern New York.  In Community Supported Agriculture - New Models for Changing Markets the authors Timothy Woods, Matthew Ernst, and Debra Tropp surveyed 495 CSAs in the USA and then conducted case-studies of six CSAs.  They found several changes compared to a national CSA survey, conducted in 20012.  They found (1) increasing competition, from other CSAs and from other market channels (2) increasing focus on customer service and choice and (2) growth of multi-farm and alternative types of CSAs.  They also found a decline in the number of certified organic CSAs.  In 2001 49% of CSA farms were certified organic.  In the 2017 survey only 27% were certified organic. These trends are echoed in data I collected on 106 CSAs in Eastern NY in 2017 and 20183 (Figure 1).  For example, I found that 26% of Eastern New York CSAs were USDA Certified Organic, like the national percentage. 


Technical Assistance Grant for Hiring and Managing Ag Employees

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 10, 2019

Smart Farming Teams

The Cornell Small Farm's Program Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.  Eligible applicants are: Beginning Farmers (10 or fewer years in farm ownership); NextGen Farmers (family members working on existing farms who are in line for succession, but do not own the farm yet - a NextGen farmer who has fewer than 10 years of farm ownership on a family farm could apply as a Beginning Farmer); Existing farm managers on a farm who is being groomed for succession of the farm or who plans to start their own farm - with the support of the farm owner.  There is also support for Latino farm workers who are looking to move into managerial roles on farms.

Application Deadline: Please Submit by January 31, 2019


Supplemental Coverage Options for Apples

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 12, 2018

Apple growers in New York are starting to see a new crop insurance option in some counties, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO). I had a couple of questions about it in Ulster County last fall. Now that we are nearing time to sign up for crop insurance again, let's dig in a little deeper - what is SCO and why might you consider it?


Starting A Farm Business Resource Sheet

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: July 16, 2018

This handout provides resources for starting a farm business.


Farmers Market Directory of the Region

Last Modified: April 30, 2018
Farmers Market Directory of the Region

Looking for a new farmers market to sell to this year? This is a listing of all farmers markets located in the 17 county region that the ENYCHP covers for 2018.


Get into eCommerce with FreshFoodNY

Last Modified: April 20, 2018
Get into eCommerce with FreshFoodNY

Are you concerned that your farmers' market sales are flat? Have you thought of trying to bump up interest in current and prospective customers?

The Farmers' Market Federation of NY has found an excellent on-line app that will help you access the ecommerce marketplace. The technical support is high and the company, Crave Foods, is motivated.  

Eight Farm Management Tips for the 2018 Season

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 6, 2018

A good time to make New Year's resolutions is at the start of the new growing season. This year why don't you try adopting one or more of the following 8 key management strategies of good managers on your farm.


How to Grow Better Workers - Eight Farm Management Tips for the 2018 Season

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 4, 2018
How to Grow Better Workers - Eight Farm Management Tips for the 2018 Season

A good time to make New Year's resolutions is at the start of the new growing season. This year why don't you try adopting one or more of the following 8 key management strategies of good managers on your farm. They might help you help get your employees off to a good start this year.

Making the Leap to Owner-Operator: Are you Labor Ready?

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 4, 2018
Making the Leap to Owner-Operator: Are you Labor Ready?

Deciding to start a farm can present a multitude of challenges. Do you have access to suitable farmland? Have you identified your markets? What equipment are you going to need to put your plan into practice? Will you need to borrow money to start your business? While the question "who is going to do all of the work on the farm?" is also usually on that short list of things that keep aspiring farmers up at night, it is much less common for new growers to ask themselves "do I have the tools and experience necessary to be an effective manager of farm employees?" 

Supervising Seasonal and Temporary Workers: Special Considerations

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 4, 2018
Supervising Seasonal and Temporary Workers: Special Considerations

Most fruit and vegetable farms need to hire people on a temporary seasonal basis. The short length of time which seasonal employees will be on your farm does require some special considerations. Although these workers are only on your farm for a little while, they contribute to the success of your farm business. Below are some tips for getting the best contribution out of your seasonal farm staff.

Guide on How to Purchase at the NYS Produce Auctions

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 8, 2018
Guide on How to Purchase at the NYS Produce Auctions

A produce auction is a wholesale market for regionally grown produce. Currently there are eight produce auctions in New York State offering a wide variety of produce at competitive prices. This guide will provide basic information on the terminology of the auction, as well as how to purchase produce at these unique markets.

Grape Insurance

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 10, 2017

Its time to buy apple insurance 2017

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 10, 2017

2017 NENY & VT Winter Grape School Presentations

Anna Wallis, Tree Fruit and Grape Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: March 16, 2017

Presentations from the the Northeastern NY & VT Winter Grape School held March 9, 2017 in Lake George.


Crop Insurance for Grape Growers

Anne Mills, Field Technician
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: February 27, 2017

This slideshow was presented at the 2017 winter grape school in Kingston, NY. 

Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

Anne Mills, Field Technician
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: February 27, 2017

This is a slideshow about non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program(NAP)

NAP Covers:
•Crops grown commercially
•against production losses due to damaging weather, adverse natural occurrences and related conditions
•Which are not insured by Risk Management Agency Insurance programs
•Except for Pilot & Written Policies
•During the coverage period
•Starts on December 20th
•Ends on November 20th

2017 Winter Tree Fruit School Presentations

Anna Wallis, Tree Fruit and Grape Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: February 16, 2017

Presentations given at the 2017 Eastern NY Commercial Tree Fruit Schools are available by clicking on the following links.  

Materials from Ag Business Programs

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: February 8, 2017
Materials from Ag Business Programs

Are you looking for handouts and presentation materials from Elizabeth Higgins' Ag Business Management education programs?  Contact Liz at emh56@cornell.edu if you have any questions about resources. (Click Here) This webpage is updated as new programs are offered. 

Ag Business Tax Incentives

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 26, 2017
Ag Business Tax Incentives

Link to webpage of ag business tax incentives - emphasis on fruit and vegetable producers in NYS

Reccent USDA Final Rule changes prevented planting provisions in crop insurance

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 7, 2016

Onion farmers in ENYCH may see changes to their prevented planting crop insurance coverage levels in 2017.  RMA is seeking to have more accurate pre-planting cost data on which to base payment levels.  The new rule gives RMA more flexibility, making it easier to change rates or have different rates in different production areas without having to amend the regulations.

Pricing Over Time and an Adjustment Using a Consumer Price Index

Jesse Strzok, Production Economics Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: October 28, 2016

How do we figure out price changes over time in real terms to account for inflation and cost-of-living adjustments? We use a consumer price index (CPI) which is a price index based on what average consumers buy. Using this information and known prices we can calculate real price changes over time.

Farm Progress Show's Driverless Tractor Steals the Show

Jesse Strzok, Production Economics Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 15, 2016
Farm Progress Show's Driverless Tractor Steals the Show

USDA - Legal Best Practices for the Wholesale Farmer

Last Modified: September 15, 2016

Average Weekly Farmers Market Prices

Abigail Henderson, Senior Administrative Assistant
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 1, 2016
Average Weekly Farmers Market Prices

Look here to find the weekly average prices for fruits, vegetables, and meats from Farmers Markets in the Mid-Hudson, Albany, Saratoga-Lake George, and Northern Regions.

Farming and Agricultural Supplies List

Last Modified: April 29, 2016

Check out our list of the following Agricultural Resources!
Agricultural Organizations
Custom Spraying
Drainage
Equipment
Farm & Food Sanitation
Fertilizers & Feed
Fencing
Food Processing
Irrigation
Land Management
Land Preservation
Farmers Market Associations
Bee Keeping
Auctions
Consulting
Loans
Construction
Excavation
Insurance
High Tunnels
Maple Supplies
Grain Buyers
Grapes
Organic Certification
Soil Testing




Presentations - 2016 Winter Tree Fruit Schools

Sarah Elone, Field Technician
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: February 22, 2016

Presentations given at the 2016 Commercial Tree Fruit Schools in Lake George (LG) and Kingston in the Hudson Valley (HV) are available by clicking on the following links.

Presentations - 2015 Winter Tree Fruit Schools

Last Modified: February 16, 2015

Presentations given at the 2015 Commercial Tree Fruit Schools in Lake George (LG) and Kingston in the Hudson Valley (HV) are available by clicking on the following links.  

2014 Veraison to Harvest Issue #1 (pdf)

Jim O'Connell, Small Fruit and Grape Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 4, 2014

Veraion to Harvest Issue #1

Veraison to Harvest is a weekly electronic newsletter put out by viticulture and enology extension personnel from Lake Erie, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes. Each issue will hopefully have accurate and up-to-date regional data while giving a statewide perspective as well. V to H begins in early September and concludes in late October.

Labor and Recordkeeping Forms Part 1

Matthew Wells, Production Economics & Business Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: January 21, 2014

Labor and record keeping forms needed for farms.  Pdf files for DOL Seasonal & Migrant workers Terms of Employment Form (english & spanish) and Pay Notice & Work Agreement for Farm Workers are included.

Labor and Recordkeeping Forms Part 2

Matthew Wells, Production Economics & Business Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: January 21, 2014

Labor and record keeping forms needed for farms. Pdf files for Daily Record of Crew and Emergency Contact Form are included.

Labor and Recordkeeping Forms Part 3

Matthew Wells, Production Economics & Business Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: January 21, 2014

Labor and recordkeeping forms for farms.  Pdf files for Today's Picker Record Blank, Weekly Picker Sheet (horizontal), and Weekly Picker Sheet (vertical).

Labor and Recordkeeping Forms Part 4

Matthew Wells, Production Economics & Business Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: January 21, 2014

Labor and recordkeeping forms for farm.  Pfd files for Delivery Sheet & Driver Information Sheet For Storage.

Labor and Recordkeeping Forms Part 5

Matthew Wells, Production Economics & Business Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: January 14, 2014

Labor and recordkeeping forms make it easier to keep track of all the important details on your farm.  These forms are available in .pdf format below.

Regulations, forms, and posters for Agriculture Employers

Last Modified: January 14, 2014

Regulations, forms, and posters required for growers can be found in the following links.

Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms

Last Modified: October 18, 2012
Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms

Collaborative marketing is a realistic solution for small- to mid-size farms that are seeking access to larger markets, but are unable to individually serve such accounts. In collaborative marketing, several like-minded producers join together formally to market and distribute farm products, but not necessarily under the governance or control of a cooperative.

Generally, small farms should consider temporary, limited-scale collaborative projects before developing substantial business agreements. Such arrangements can be a simple as consignment sales, or as complex as a corporation dedicated to marketing and distribution.


more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

2020 Fall Round Up: Fall Management for Your Livestock, Pasture, and Business

October 29, 2020

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators Ashley Pierce, Aaron Gabriel, and Dayton Maxwell.  This dynamic and slightly humorous group will discuss strategies for overwintering pastures in combination with management guidelines for helping livestock enter the winter season with adequate body condition.  Farm visioning, mission development, and farm goal setting will conclude the one-hour program. 

view details

2021 Fruit & Vegetable Conference

February 16 - February 18, 2021

The Eastern NY Fruit & Vegetable Conference, normally held at The Desmond Hotel in Albany, will be going virtual 2021.  The ENYCH team will try to coordinate with other regional fruit and vegetable teams from across the state to offer a larger statewide virtual meeting.  These are tentative dates for now.  Additional information will be continued to be shared as it becomes available. 

view details

Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Growers-are you running low on fall pumpkins, etc?

The Produce Auctions located around the state may have what you need.  Check out all of the opportunities here: https://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=4

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 12 9/30/20

September 30, 2020
The September 30, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Farmers Benefits from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 or CFAP (1:10)
Reflections on the Challenges and Successes Faced by Vegetable Growers in 2020 (4:40)

listen now

read transcript

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